Narendra Modi, opposition party decisively top India election results

Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and India's next prime minister Narendra Modi addresses a gathering of supporters after his landslide victory in Vadodara (AP Photo/ Dharmesh Jobanputra)

It's the most decisive election victory India has seen in more than a quarter of a century.

Partial results have made it clear that opposition leader Narenda Modi will be the country's next prime minister -- sweeping the Congress party from power in today's elections.

Modi is a Hindu nationalist, and there are fears that his election could worsen sectarian tension between India's majority Hindus and its 138 million Muslims. He is a divisive figure in India, in large part because he was in charge of a state where communal rioting killed more than 1,000 people in 2002 -- most of them Muslims. He was accused of doing little to stop the rampage. He was later denied a U.S. visa for alleged complicity in the riots -- though as prime minister, he would be virtually assured a visa.

As his overwhelming win became clear, Modi appeared before a crowd of cheering supporters and tried to strike a conciliatory note. He said he wants to run a government that "carries everyone with it."

The outcome was a crushing defeat for the Congress party, which is closely linked to the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty that has been at the center of Indian politics for most of the country's post-independence history.

Political analyst Sharad Pradhan says the personal magnetism of Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi was enough to oust the long-dominant Congress party.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters wrote congratulatory messages for their leader on a giant board at their party headquarters in New Delhi. Modi supporters danced in the streets near party headquarters as opposition leader and India's next prime minister, while his mother Hiraben, flashed reporters the victory symbol in Gandhinagar, India.
Related Topics:
electionelection dayelectionsu.s. & worldindia
(Copyright ©2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)